Archives for category: Rubbish


*I am not sure if Living Lagom is grammatically correct, but it sounds good.

For the last three months my family and I have been trying hard to live in a Lagom way.

We have changed to LED bulbs, tried hard to recycle as much waste as possible, begun the never ending reducing of the amount of stuff we own and have started planning, and planting, to grow our own vegetables. I thought that maybe we would recycle a bit more than we used to and remember to turn off a few more lights- which we have done- but all these other things have happened as well.

  1. We have saved money.chart (1)
  2. Energy usage Gas 2015/16 in grey, 2016/17 in green
    chart (2)

    Energy usage electric 2015/16 grey, 2016/17 in blue

    Compared to the same time last year our energy usage for Jan and Feb is down 1082 kwh for gas and 84kwh for electricity.

    On my current tariff this works out at a saving of £46 for 2 months- possibly £276 a year! All through changing to LEDs, making my home cosier and reducing the heating by 1 degree.

  3. I have less housework to do.The children have embraced the Lagom ideal, they put their shoes  in the shoe-rack that is made out of SPONTAN magazine racks, they sort their rubbish into recyclables and non-recyclables using their FNISS bins and (when they remember) put their clothes in the correct BLASKA laundry basket above the washing machine. These baskets are great, I can store up the washing until I have a full load- thus making even less work for me!

3.       The rooms of our home (and I ) feel more organised

The SORTERA boxes have really helped me to keep on top of the recycling- when they are full I take the things to be recycled. Easy!  We are in the process of decluttering every room in the house, making it easier to find the things we really need.From our decluttering we have donated over 100 items to charity and giving away other items to friends with younger children.


4.  We are creating less waste.

We now throw away less than a black bag full of non recyclables every two weeks. Our food waste has also reduced, I have become more resistant to the special offers at the supermarket (also helps save money), I think I have also reduced the volume of food I cook (or else my children have got bigger appetites).

5. My son is becoming an entrepreneur

He has sorted out some of his old toys and begun selling them at car boot sales- at the last one he sold £12 worth of things, to a 9 year old boy this is a fortune. (Unfortunately his expenses were £11).

6.I have discovered my children love sewing

Result of February’s Cosy Home Workshop- need I say more…



Sausage the Shark draught excluder, sewn by my son.


7. I am running out of windowsills to grow things.



Just a few of the seedlings waiting for more space.


Those VAXER seed starter plugs are amazing, every single one that I used produced a viable plant-  I am impatiently waiting for warmer weather to get out in the garden.

So there we are; 7 unexpected things that have happened, so far, because of the live Lagom project.

There are still a couple of areas to work on

my seedlings need to go out into the garden- fingers crossed they still do well.

as a family we could be more active- the cycle helmets hanging by the back door are begging to be used.

But so far, all is going well as these results show.

Stay happy and keep living lagom.













So a month into the project and I am already noticing changes in our lifestyle and home life.

The big change is everywhere is tidier! All the recycling is in one place, and I have begun to create a routine of recycling- when I have lots of plastic bags to recycle these go straight into the car and I post them into the correct bin when I am next at the supermarket. This is a definite improvement as I have been known to drive around for months with 3 bags of old plastic bags in my car and more spilling out of their hiding place at home. Recycling the plastic things that the council don’t take has also become easier- I used to put them in a bag outside the door and then empty all the rain and slugs and gunk out before taking them in car to be recycled- now they are living inside our house until the box is full and then recycled when I do my weekly shop. Ideal.

The whole area by the back door is much tidier- something has happened to my children, instead of leaving their shoes under cupboards and behind chairs in the kitchen they automatically put their shoes away in the shoe rack! It is amazing.

Something else has happened to my daughter (and for those of you that know her this is a pretty big step) she has voluntarily removed some books from her room !! She has even said that she no longer wants some of her books and they can go. (We have put some in the loft so she can keep them for her children, she laughed at this idea until I pointed out the bookshelf at the top of the stairs full of my old books.) We have recycled several old colouring books- in total she has given up over 30 things! Her bookshelf now has space  for her new favourite books. My son has helped me sort out the summerhouse and has collected his unwanted things together to sell at a table top sale, next job for him is to sort out the things in his room.

I have begun to get rid of things as well. The children’s toys in the loft have been sorted and several toddler toys have been donated to, a charity that my husband’s parents are involved with. We have also given them a bag of old children’s shoes, school uniform and coats. Why, oh why I kept every pair of my children’s grown out of shoes is beyond me- but what else can you do with them?

Since beginning of January we have removed from our house 35 books to the charity shop, 72 items to Roaf and 11 items to friends with young children. Over 100 things that we just didn’t need anymore, most of it came out of the loft, put away when the children were smaller. It was difficult back then to part with it but it becomes easier when the times they played with it are more distant.

My son’s cub pack are doing an environmental awareness activity badge. He has to keep a 4 week diary of the ways he has saved energy at home. As he was already in charge of after school curtain closing he has quite an easy task- he did decide to remind me to have a shorter shower this morning.

Getting organised is a good feeling, it is nice to know that at the end of this everything left in our house will have been chosen to be there.

Is there a difference between getting organised and decluttering? I do not feel I have really reduced clutter, I think I have just started putting things away more.  Hmm maybe that does reduce  clutter.

So that is a brief look at how it’s all going, the small changes that are happening in our life.






This is how it all looks now, with coat hooks up for cycle helmets and a shelf to store all those things I don’t use all that often- in my case the box on the shelf contains flower vases, no one ever buys me flowers anymore… (I suppose that cut flowers aren’t very Lagom anyway…)

I think the space needs a bit of explaining, behind the curtain in the middle picture is the back door to my house, this area is a small corridor that leads straight into the kitchen. There is a sliding glass panelled door between the kitchen and this corridor but we never slide it all the way across as it often gets stuck. The back door is a bit draughty and the kitchen always feels cold in the winter- it has a very low insulated flat roof- the addition of the curtain should make the kitchen bit warmer.

I am really pleased with how the small changes have made this space go from this mess:



to this:


The addition of the curtain means we will keep the space cosier.

The baskets for clothes mean I can wait for a full load before I use the washing machine- so uses less energy.

The recycle bins mean I can recycle more things as they are all organised together- it also forces me to actually recycle stuff when they get filled up.

The cycle helmet hooks are a constant reminder to us that we have bikes, and really, really should use them more often…

So I am all prepared now to start my lagom journey, to get more organised so my family and I can live more sustainably.


I thought I would share with you the next steps in  our Lagom journey. My main focus is to get my house organised so that it is easy for everyone to recycle things and live in a healthier way; the main thing stopping us was the crazy piles of stuff everywhere waiting to be recycled.

In my head I do recycle, in actual life I just don’t throw anything away. There is a ‘bit’ of a problem between intention and action in my recycling habits.

I do regularly recycle paper, glass, tins, plastic bottles, green waste and food waste as they are collected fortnightly by the council.

I do sporadically recycle other plastics and plastic bags- when I remember to take them to the supermarket and put them in the bins there.

I do hardly ever recycle tetrapaks and tinfoil as I always forget to take them  when dropping daughter at Guides, the carpark there is the only place I have found that has recycling bins for them.

I do next to never (or never) recycle batteries, other WEEE items and scrap bits of metal  and yet I keep them all in my house in a separate box next to the general bin- and they keep getting in the way.

I also keep bottle tops and yogurt pots because I might have a great idea about what to do with them (see the rubbish crafts in the early blog posts for examples).

So my house has – or had- many special places to store, and ways of storing things to be recycled. Here is a picture of the corner of my kitchen taken just over a week ago.wp_20161216_16_40_29_pro

I also have this area by the washing machine for plastic bags, plastic and paper. This is how it looked just over a  week ago….

This is a very hard working area, it is the first thing you see when you come in the back door. It is a narrow corridor with coats on one side, washing machine, washing, recycling,shoes, tools and cycle helmets on the other.


And this is how it all looks now….

Almost all ready to start living Lagom. The shoe rack is made from the SPONTAN magazine racks and work really well. The boxes are SORTERA and seem to be a good size to fill up and then take to the right place to be emptied, I need to make labels for them. The baskets are the right size for a full load of washing and have already been brilliant for sorting out a big bag of holiday washing. We still need to add a shelf for ‘secondary storage’ (google it- its a real thing), hooks for cycle helmets and locks and the GLASNVA curtain to stop the drafts from the door.

I will post again when the work is finished and can give you more detail about the difference this small amount of organisation has made to our lives.

Until then Happy Christmas and don’t forget to #livelagom


So two weeks ago today I had my home visit from IKEA as part of the Live Lagom project. Chayten and Marta came to my home and we discussed how I could make my life more Lagom: sustainable and living with the just the right amount of everything – not too much, not too little. It is interesting discussing your life and home with new people, and refreshing to see it through new eyes. All the little niggly things that just sort of happen, (like the accumulation of stuff on every available surface, or the hopelessly dull light fitting in the lounge) suddenly become something that I can change. Because actually the only reason there is a pile of stuff or a rubbish light is because we haven’t got round to it- it hasn’t been a focus- because being busy gets in the way and its gets neglected.( There are a lot of ‘becauses’ in that sentence. )

At the home visit I said the thing stopping me from living Lagom was time, but I am not sure that is strictly true, I think it is lack of focus that is stopping me. Like most people I am incredibly easily distracted- this is the main reason why it has taken me two weeks to write this blog entry. I am hoping that by managing to focus on the niggly bits that can be easily fixed in my home life will become better and I will find more time.

The things I am going to focus on are :

  1. Better organisation of waste/recycling – We don’t have much waste to go landfill as I keep lots of it to recycle in various places and ways. At the moment I hide it around the house until I get round to taking it to the right place. I am going to buy several SORTERA boxes, put them all in the same place and keep all the recycling (except food waste) together.
  2. Making recycling easier -This is linked to number 1. I am going to get 2 bins for all the rooms, one for proper rubbish, one for recycling. Then I can easily sort it without having to pick through old tissues and sweet wrappers.

Hopefully then I will be able to recycle more, be more efficient and not send more to landfill than I need to.

3. Lighting – this is two fold, we want to replace all the light bulbs with LED ones to save energy (this is a no brainer), we would also like sort out the lighting in the lounge, this might include some stand alone lights as well as sorting out main light (which hardly creates any light at all).

4. Rechargable batteries – Again a no brainer, IKEA LADDA rechargeable batteries last the life of 500, yes 500 !!! , non rechargeable batteries. Do I need to say more

These two changes will save energy and money.

I don’t think this will exhaust the £300 I have been allocated , I am hoping to be able to get a MULIG clothes airer and clothes baskets, not life changing but will make the washing easier. I also need to change the whole area around the washing machine, as mentioned in previous post. This will be change as it has been a place for stuff that has nowhere else to go for a long, long time. Hopefully after that there will be still some left to buy some growing things, I would like one of those little SOCKER windowsill greenhouses.

My shop with the #livelagom team is next Monday- I will let you all know then what sustainable delights I have come home with.

Until then live Lagom.


Day 2 of being a house wife! My youngest has started full time school and my days between 9 and 3 are now all mine and mine alone. What to do?

Anyway I am very, very good at procrastinating so I will decide on an answer to that later. Right now I am going to show you the half finished robot we made in the holidays and post a picture of my two children ready for school yesterday so it’s captured forever in t’internet land.

Not sure what order wordpress will display them in, but it should be obvious which is which.

I think the robot is destined to always be half finished, as the children lost interest after we added the jousting arm,and they realised he wasn’t going to be quite as good as they imagined. He now stands in the corner of the playroom slowly falling forward as his legs aren’t strong enough. Sure this is a metaphor for something, not quite sure what though.


Sorry for the bad pun in the title. I think however, it is appropriate as the week’s rubbish craft is brilliant, back to the old standard of  stuck together rubbish!  The whole thing was decided upon, designed and done by my four year old (well most of it).

After watching Mister Maker he decided he wanted to make a tractor. We rummaged around in the junk box(es) until he found the bits he needed. Using 2 cardboard tubs, 6 lids and part of a cereal box he made this.


First the tubs were painted green and left to dry.

 The next day the wheels were stuck on with double sided tape. I then mixed some pva glue with yellow paint for him to paint the wheels. This bit didn’t work very well!

After it was dry we attached the trailer to the tractor and added stickers for decoration.

Brilliant eh?

I have also been working on this, would like to know if you can work out what it is meant to be. Even my usually perceptive children took several guesses on this one. Good Luck!


Hello,  here are some pictures of our latest rubbish crafting session. My aim at the moment is to clear the pile of plastic packaging I have in the corner (and other places) of my kitchen. I reluctantly let small amounts of it go into school with my youngest, but the pile seems to be increasing, not decreasing.

With this in mind I let my two children choose two of the biggest boxes, gave them a pile of stickers, wrapping paper and glue and left them to it.

Messy chaos followed.

This was the result:

A very useful box for putting stuff in.

I have also found a use for the many plastic bags I have been collecting. I have turned several bags into plarn and tried knitting with them but found it difficult, we have made suncatchers out if the strips but they got condensation trapped behind them and went yucky. Finally, at a traditional craft fair we went to at the weekend, I discovered weaving sticks. I bought a set and when I got home had a go at weaving with the balls of plarn. It was very easy, and I think a whole heap of potential makes could follow. (That’s a very non commital sentence). Concidentally when I went to Hobbycraft  on Monday they still had signs up advertising their weaving stick course from the weekend. Just when I think I’ve discovered something new everyone already knows about it.

Anyway, this is what I created. Does this count as upcycling?

All comments welcome!